HR9785 - Contemporary Issues in Global HRM

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the contemporary and timely issues associated with human resource management and about managing human resources in a global context. You will learn the concepts, principles, theories, and techniques and how to apply and evaluate the principles and theories to authentic cases and scenarios in contemporary organisations. Complementary to this is insight into global contemporary issues in human resource management and a well-rounded and specialised ability to identify and integrate these issues in contemporary organisations in the global context.
Topics may include:
• Managing an international workforce,
• Managing racism and discrimination in global context,
• Agile workforce, flexibility, and change,
• Future of work,
• Digital transformation,
• Knowledge sharing and transfer in multinational corporations and cross border alliances
• People and skills required in global context,
• Social trends and sustainable strategic goals,
• Engaging people

How will I learn on this module?

After developing an appropriate, brief, theoretical understanding in contemporary and timely issues related to human resource management you will be able to demonstrate integrated knowledge and focus on gaining competencies to apply and evaluate the principles and theories to authentic cases and scenarios. You must be able to critically reflect on and address complex contemporary and timely HR challenges from context relevant scenarios and case studies. You should be able to develop and communicate your ideas and opinions using appropriate academic discourse as they solve real life contemporary HR problems in scenarios and case studies. By working with theories and case studies you will develop the skills to allow you to contribute effectively as an HR manager. You will therefore learn in a very pragmatic way in this module, with the main focus being on seminars which will allow you to ‘learn by doing’. As a master’s student, you will also be encouraged to research in contemporary and timely issues in organisations independently, allowing you to deepen your learning by focussing on any areas which are of particular interest to you or of relevance to your future career plans.

An experiential learning activity with HR mentors will be a compulsory activity, providing you with opportunities to interact and communicate directly with HR professionals through a problem-solving project on a specific contemporary issue presented in this module. You will be supported in the analysis of individual development process as a means of developing an understanding of your own employability.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module is delivered through lectures, seminars, directed and independent study, and experiential learning activity. While lectures will be interactive, drawing upon your own experiences and opinions as well as the directed learning you will undertake, they will also provide a theoretical basis for your learning. The seminars will complement this by allowing you to assimilate your knowledge, develop your skills, and reflect critically on potential organisational applications through completion of practical exercises and discussion with your tutor and peers.

Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities, and use of e-learning platforms. Independent learning will centre upon you identifying and pursuing areas of interest in relation to the specialist subject area or by providing deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the subject through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, reflection, and research.

An experiential learning activity with HR mentors will help you apply knowledge to solve a specific contemporary issue presented in this module. Working directly with HR mentors will support you in the analysis of individual development process as a means of developing an understanding of your own employability.

The module is supported by a Teaching and Learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, the tutor-directed study, and independent reading.

Formative feedback will be provided to you as part of the experiential learning activity and in the sessions in which the assessment and directed study are discussed.

You will be supported through making available the most of digital and technology learning tools throughout the program. Tools such as Blackboard e-learning portal and a wide-ranging electronic reading list comprised of case studies, various books, industry reports, book chapters and journal articles relevant to the material covered by the module. Your module is supported via lecture capture software, such as Panopto portal to help you revise previously lectured recordings in your time as well as at your speed.

In addition, some links to online videos and critical documentaries, interactive tools such as padlet, mentimeter, Kahoot, vevox and flipgrid will be used to enhance your engagement in learning.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Understand and apply theories in analysing contemporary issues in organisations in a global context [MLO1]
2. Evaluate the impacts of contemporary issues, strengths and weaknesses of HR function in contemporary organisations [MLO2]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Develop HR implications at strategic, policy and operational levels in coping with contemporary issues through the ability to apply the up-to-date knowledge and skills [MLO3]

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be carried out on a continuous basis during the seminars throughout the semester and the experiential learning activity in order to feed this forward into your final summative assessments. In addition to tutor feedback on progress on the seminars’ exercises, time will also be set aside regularly to discuss your individual progress and ideas.

There are two components of summative assessment on this module. One is a group presentation based on research and the other is an individual report.

Summative Assessment
Component 1 (25%)
A group presentation in which you will investigate, evaluate and develop solutions for contemporary issues in the global HRM context. This will be assessed through a group presentation.
[MLOs 1, 2]

Component 2 (75%)
Individual assignment. A 2,000-word report to be submitted at the end of the module which critically assesses the impacts of specific contemporary issues of global HRM context in an organisation of your choice and explain either how the use of the report has contributed to organisational performance or has the potential to do so. [MLOs 1, 2, 3]

You will be provided with a mark and feedback on your assignment, which will include any actions to be taken to improve performance. This will be written feedback on individual work and returned to you electronically (eLP). The faculty office will inform you of the date this will be made available to you.

Electronic written feedback will be provided on individual work and released through the eLP.





Module abstract

This module introduces you to contemporary themes, priorities and issues associated with global HRM, with the aim of providing an in-depth understanding, analysis and critical awareness of the key challenges faced by HR practitioners in the workplace within the new era of a global context. Examples of contemporary issues include managing an international workforce, managing racism and discrimination in global context, agile workforce, flexibility, and change, future of work, digital transformation, knowledge sharing and transfer in multinational corporations and cross border alliances. In this module, you will be able to develop critical insight and understanding into the nature of contemporary organisations and the increasingly global environment in which they operate. Through a hands-on approach to contemporary issues in global HRM, you will learn how to synthesise and integrate theory with application, use your knowledge of issues to improve the effectiveness and direction of contemporary organisations, and enable you to operate as an effective practitioner both in local and global context.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full time

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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